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How it can really come alive is to apply it to the world around you. After digesting this book, you can view success and failure through a new lens. You can see what makes certain people around you so successful, and what differentiates them from the merely mediocre. As you read through the principles in this book, observe how closely the successful person models the principles and strategies outlined here. Notice how and where the more unsuccessful person falls short. This exercise will help you see success principles in action, and serve as evidence that these ideas really work.

At first, the person might know the excuse is just a convenient lie — but the more she repeats it, the more she believes it. Soon, she uses that excuse to justify every problem in her life, instead of taking responsibility and solving the problem. People tend to make excuses centered around four areas: health, intelligence, age, and luck. A disadvantage with the right attitude will beat an advantage with the wrong attitude. What it is : You surrender to your health woes and use an illness or condition as an excuse to stop reaching for your goals.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz - Penguin Books New Zealand

We all have, or will have, a physical limitation. You can imagine someone with heart disease who puts his life on pause and becomes depressed. Contrast this with another person who recently had a pacemaker installed who is bursting with energy and vitality, ready to pursue his dreams, grateful to get a second shot at life. The first person surrendered to health excusitis, while the second person remained optimistic and positive.

The author shares a story about a golfer friend who had an arm amputated. He worked on perfecting his swing, and others marveled at how he became better than most two-armed golfers. What it is: You overestimate the intelligence of others and underestimate your own intelligence.

How To Use: “The Magic of Thinking Big”

Unlike other forms of excusitis, people with intelligence excusitis often suffer in silence, feeling their perceived inadequacy deep down. When you suffer from intelligence excusitis, you sell yourself short and miss opportunities.

The Magic of Thinking Big - by David Schwartz Full Audiobook

You use your perceived lack of smarts as an excuse not to try new things. Why this thinking is flawed : What really matters is not how much intelligence you have, but how you choose to use what intelligence you have. To flesh out this idea:. In summary, intelligent people with the wrong attitude can fail. Less intelligent people with the right attitude can really succeed. No matter how old you are, you still have time left.

The Magic of Thinking Big Summary

Are you going to let 20 years go by moaning about your age? At the age of 45, he decided to go for his long-held dream of becoming a minister, despite his fears of being too old to start something so new and different. He struck forward on this dream, made it happen, and realized he still had decades to spend in this ideal job. Once again, an old person with the right attitude will beat a young person with the wrong attitude. For Youth Excusitis: For the people who view being too young as a problem, the answer is similar: youth is a liability only when your attitude is wrong.

Gain confidence in your abilities and what you have to offer in any situation. When you look at successful people, you just think they got lucky. You ignore all the hard work and character traits that got them there. Luck excusitis is a dead end.

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The author uses this analogy: suppose General Motors were to reorganize the entire company on the basis of luck, placing names in a hat and randomly drawing for president, vice-president and so on. This would be the world if luck were really the major factor in success. This is ridiculous, right? Rather than luck, people who rise to the top in any organization get there because of attitude, ability, and hard work. The book mentions four common areas of excusitis, but the principles apply to any excuse you give for not succeeding.

Examples include:. The right attitude with the disadvantage will beat the wrong attitude with the advantage. Like this summary? Have too much to read? You'll love my new book summary product Shortform. Even better, it helps you remember what you read, so you can make your life better. What's special about Shortform:. Sound like what you've been looking for? Sign up for a 5-day free trial here.

Fear in all its forms — worry, tension, embarrassment, anxiety and panic — is crippling, paralyzing you from taking action and blocking your success. Why is fear so self-defeating? Think of an infection in your body. If left untreated, it spreads unabated, causing more physical harm and pain and damaging more and more areas of your body. Fear is an infection of the mind, and when it spreads it stops you from taking chances and jumping on opportunities. It blocks your chances at success.

Fear stops you from speaking up when you have something to say, and its incarnations such as anxiety and stress can actually make you physically sick. So how do we treat this mental infection of fear and stop its spread? Confidence is the antidote to fear , and the good news is that confidence is a skill you can develop. No one is born totally confident.

Confident people a cquire that confidence over time — and you can too. This step has two parts. First, isolate your fear.

What exactly are you afraid of? Describe it in very specific terms. Next, take action. Prompt, decisive action conquers fear. Postponing and procrastinating is like pouring fertilizer on fear, helping it grow. Think of a sales executive terrified of losing her job amid plunging profits and a tenuous company atmosphere.

Instead, she could take action. In all cases, she is taking back control of her life and doing something about her situation. Fear conquered. Think of your brain as a bank, where you make thought deposits and thought withdrawals. Your inner bank teller is very responsive, ready to deliver whatever memory you call upon as thought evidence.

Feeling inadequate in the face of a big decision?

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But what if you call upon your inner teller to bolster your confidence? Deposit only positive thoughts in your memory bank, and withdraw only positive thoughts. While driving alone and before you go to sleep at night, make it a point to recall positive, successful experiences. Think about your victories of the day, big and small. This will help condition you to bring positive memories to the forefront. You can help unpleasant memories to shrivel, making it harder for your inner teller to access them.

Fear of other people is debilitating for confidence. Overcoming this fear is vital, because it holds you back from opportunities, relationships, and new experiences. Conscience and confidence are tied together. A guilty conscience destroys self-confidence. The author comments that many criminals are caught not because they left clues, but because they act guiltily and self-consciously after the crime.

This aberrant behavior put them on the suspect list. Acting immorally not only destroys your own self-confidence, it destroys the confidence that others have in you. To be confident, act along your conscience. To think confidently, you must act confidently.